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Carbon offsetting

What is carbon offsetting?

When you travel, your plane lets off a load of carbon, which scientists believe contributes to climate change. If you don’t want to feel too bad about this, you can choose to offset it. This basically means that you pay a small amount on top of the cost of your policy to fund projects around the world which aim to reduce carbon emissions elsewhere.

You can take a look at the sort of projects your money will help to support here.

We can cover your kids for free!

If you’re going away with your children, we can cover them on your policy at no extra charge, whether you buy an annual policy or single trip cover.

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So if you've got a cat, dog or rabbit that needs insuring, get them covered today.

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How do you calculate the carbon footprint?

We calculate your flight carbon offset by using the following formula:

Passenger-kilometres travelled (pkm) X Kilograms of CO2 per pkm X Kilometre uplift factor

We know this sounds complicated but it's actually quite simple. If you’re interested in the maths, read on!


How we calculate your carbon offset

Average return flight distances used to work out the passenger-kilometres travelled*

These are the average distances in passenger-kilometres for each of the different forms of flights. These figures come from DEFRA.

Flight type Average distance
Domestic flight 926 kms
Short haul flight 2,216 kms
Long haul flight 12,964 kms


Kilograms of CO2 per passenger-kilometre*

These are the average amounts of CO2 that are emitted per passenger-kilometre. These figures are also from DEFRA.

Flight type Kg of CO2 per passenger-kilometre
Domestic flight 0.1753
Short haul flight 0.983
Long haul flight 0.1106


How the offset for your policy is calculated:

Policy type Flights to offset
Single trip within the UK 1 return domestic flight
Single trip to Europe 1 return short haul flight
Worldwide single trip 1 return long haul flight
European annual multi-trip 4 return short haul flights per year
Worldwide annual multi-trip 1 return long haul and 2 return short haul flights per year

* These figures were taken from the UK Government's 2008 Guidelines to DEFRA's GHG Conversion Factors Annexes

We add 9% to accommodate for the fact that planes don't usually fly in a straight line, as advised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

If you have any further queries on carbon offsetting, please contact Carbon Clear on 0203 589 9444 or email


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